INAUGURAL ADDRESS BY SIR KT. ERNEST AMOAKO-ARHEN
INAUGURAL ADDRESS BY SIR KT. ERNEST AMOAKO-ARHEN ON THE OCCASION OF HIS INSTALLATION AS 31ST SUPREME KNIGHT OF THE KNIGHTS OF MARSHALL, AT THE MARSHALLAN TEMPLE, SEKONDI ON SATURDAY, 29TH AUGUST, 2015
Supreme Director, Sir. Kt. Cdr. Vet. Bro. Dr. E.S.K Kwaw, KSG, PIP IACK
Sir Kt. Cdr. Bro. Lawrence Owusu Akyaw Prempeh, KSS. PIP IACK
Sir Kt. Bro. James Augustine Adomako
Sir Kt. Bro. Samuel K. Barnes, PIP IACK
Sir Kt. Bro. Prof. DR DR George Wireko Brobby, KSG
Sir Kt. Bro. Edward Aloysius Prah, Vice President of Unum Omnes
Supreme Chaplain, Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, Bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese
Members of the Installation Team
Sir Knights, Worthy Brothers, Grand Knights, Brothers
“Lord give us the boldness of faith to trust our lives completely and unwaveringly into your loving hands.”
This is the day the good Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad. Let us, therefore, give thanks and praises for this wonderful and solemn occasion. “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour. He looks on His servants in HER nothingness, henceforth all ages will call me blessed. The Almighty works marvels for me, Holy is His name…………………”
It is with a deep sense of humility, gratitude and love that I stand before you this evening, highly honoured to give my maiden address as the 31st Supreme Knight of this Noble Order.
The installation we have witnessed this evening is a day that I will treasure in my life.
Installation Officer, Sir Knights, Worthy Brothers, Brothers, this occasion calls for a deep reflection on our attitudes and approach to roles that are assigned to us. If we continue to exhibit and improve upon our dedication and commitment to the fraternity, the church and society, we will make great impact.
My dear brothers, please permit me at this juncture to pay tribute to my predecessors – Sir Kt- Cmdr Dr E. S.K. Kwaw, I will continue to count on your wisdom and exceptional advice and counsel. Sir Kt. James A. Adomako (whom I fondly call Uncle James) who has constantly been my mentor, advisor and counsellor; your time, patience and tolerance has been an inspiration to me and the family. I cherish all the untiring efforts and moments of your personal attachment to my life as a Marshallan. It is now time for me to stand on my feet and contribute to the growth of the Noble Order.
I wish to acknowledge Sir Kt. Prof. Dr. Dr. Wireko Brobbey, whose good counsel and direction has contributed to my growth in the Noble Order.
To Sir Kts. Sam K. Barnes, Eddie Prah, Anthony Kemevor, Derx Baffour and Ekow Paintsil, I thank you all for the pieces of advice and direction; and anticipate a perfect working relationship. I know you will offer greater support to me during my tenure of office.
I also make special mention of the late Sir Kt. J.K. Mensah-Debrah whose encouragement and inspirational advice has propelled me to this enviable position. May his soul rest in the peaceful bosom of the Lord. Amen.
To all lovely brothers and sisters whom I cannot mention and the Planning Committee membership, chaired by Sir Kt. Andy Nukpe, I thank you for the cordial relationship, time and support in ensuring the success of this event. Sir Kts. Kwaku Dua Manu, Isaac Fritz Andoh and David D. Dumfeh, W/Bro Albert Salia, Hubert and Kate Wusuansah, my good friends, thank you and God bless you.
To my dedicated and generous Brothers and Sisters of Council 74 and Court 67, Accra Central and the Accra West Region, I sincerely appreciate you for the peace and love.
To Vivian (my wife) and my lovely children, your selfless services and sacrifices, love and support to my progress in the Order has today blossomed. My biological brothers and sisters, I thank you for the patience and love. To my family and outstanding friends, we will remain grateful and appreciative for the unending support and prayers.
This is the time for unrelenting sacrifices to be made to complement the time, talent and treasure. This is engrossed in the Latin phrase ‘Labor Omnia Vincit’ (Perseverance Conquers All).
Brothers in recognition of your prayerful support and love and on behalf of the family, I graciously make a modest donation of Candle Holders, Altar Cloth and Table Cloth to the Supreme Council.
Grand Knights, today, you have also had the opportunity to elect a new leader (DSK) and also witnessed the Installation of your Supreme Knight, you are indeed blessed. It is, therefore, a call for total dedication and loyalty to the Noble Order and the Holy Mother Church.
Knight Brothers, My Lord Bishops, Priests, please allow me to unfold my vision and programme of work for the progress and sustainability of our Noble Order:
- SPIRITUALITY OF BROTHERS
In St. Peter’s admonition to the people of Corinth, he told them; hold the hand of Jesus Christ to enable you walk on the waters, if you leave His hands you will sink. Let us continue to live on our Catholic ethical and moral principles.
We must evangelize in the rural communities to bring the Noble Order closer to them. To deepen and improve upon our spiritual life, all Councils are entreated to precede Council meetings with Rosary Prayers, but this should not interfere with Council sessions.
Special Retreats should be organised for Office bearers in all Councils and Regional Councils at the start of every new administration.
Workshops and Seminars would also be organised for Chaplains to enrich your spiritual life. We will also intensify activities at the Grotto.
Sir Knights, Brothers, the world is constantly changing, old systems and approaches no longer work, seasons change, needs change, and this is why we should diversify our revenue sources.
- THE ESTABLISHMENT OF FRATERNITY MICROFINANCE COMPANY LIMITED
The Noble Order in the past eighty-nine years has grown from strength to strength due to effective leadership provided by the Past Supreme Knights and the massive financial and moral support provided by the membership. This tempo needs to be sustained for subsequent Supreme Knights to ensure growth and expansion for the benefits of members at large. It, therefore, calls for strategies that will guarantee greater achievement of our goals with minimum financial demands made on the members.
The Noble Order is of age to establish a credible financial institution reminiscence of business ingenuity and achievements of other Knighthoods of the Catholic Church.
My plan is to chart this course with the view to propelling the Order to the next level of development – the establishment of a Microfinance Institution, which refers to the management of financial services preferably with small amounts of money for the benefit of targeted low-income clients.
This initiative seeks to contribute to reduction in poverty in the country by providing financial services to the needy business institutions and individuals and also to enhance return on investments.
The main objectives will include:
- To harmonise all existing schemes currently running within the Noble Order
- To secure the future of Brothers and Sisters through the payment of dividends
- To ensure the continuous payment of dues and levies by members, especially during retirement
- To help bridge the economic gap through surplus funds from the members/public
- To make the Noble Order self –sufficient and respond to our core mandate of Charity and Service.
In this direction, discussions are far advanced with Council 10 and Court 5, Accra; Council 37 and Court 26, Tema; and Council 3 and Court 1, Kumasi to construct permanent structures for the Fraternity’s Microfinance project to be located at Okponglo-Accra, Comm 5, Tema, Fante New Town- Kumasi, and Techiman and Kasoa (rented premises). To cushion this project, I pledge a donation of GHC3,000.
- CONSTRUCTION OF ST. ANTHONY MONTESSORI SCHOOLS COMPLEX
My dear brothers, education is the act or process of imparting general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgement, and generally preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
Education is an indispensable part of life. It has a positive effect on human life.
As a matter of fact, everything we create today is based on the knowledge that we obtain throughout our life by way of education.
As a contribution to society and Mother Ghana and for the socio-economic growth of our dear nation and to enhance the image of the Noble Order, my administration will focus on the establishment of the St. Anthony Montessori Schools Complex. From the pre-school to basic school category to the Senior High School level.
We have acquired a thirty-five – acre plot of land at Samanhu near Tarkwa for this project. (This was done through the support and guidance of our Supreme Secretary – W/B Joseph D. Erskine; we are very grateful, God bless you). It is our hope and expectation that Brothers will embrace this noble idea and generously support the project.
Another twenty-acre plot of land has been acquired at Techiman for a similar project which we hope to develop. My gratitude goes to the RGK/ B/A and the Techiman Bros and Sisters. God Bless You All. I further pledge a donation of GHC2,000.00
A reasonable portion of the land at Tarkwa is also earmarked for a Rubber Plantation to generate some income for the Noble Order. Sir Kt Joseph Kayang is respectfully tasked to provide the necessary technical advice to the Supreme Council.
- GOVERNANCE CHALLENGES
Leadership building is a great challenge. It is quite evident that principles and actions geared to good governance cannot be generated under poor leadership.
In terms of building adequate capacities for our policy development and direction, visionary leadership will be required for managing complexities in our rapidly changing environments.
A protracted or long-standing challenge to governance in the Noble Order relates to decentralisation. The policy of devolution of power and authority to Regional Cabinets (independence) is viewed as a way of re-establishing the Noble Order and rebuilding its legitimacy from bottom up. The need for Regional Councils and their Cabinets to be circumspect in handling major decisions and elevation processes fairly is a matter of concern.
This process had been hindered by the lack of capacity of some Regional Cabinets to ensure equality and equity in all matters affecting Brothers, the level of participation in Regional activities, and the level of accountability of Councils and Regional Councils to the Supreme Council.
We are determined to build the capacities of Grand Knights, Regional Grand Knights as well as Supreme Councillors to build consensus on our strategic plan aimed at achieving the objectives of the Noble Order. The independence, integrity and performance of the Councils and Regional Councils need some improvements. All Councils and Regional Councils must ensure that bank accounts are opened immediately for inspection (those Councils who do not have one).
The Business Committee of the Supreme Council will be re-organised to minimize and eliminate revenue leakages that occur through the sale of articles and paraphernalia. Regional Cabinets that approve of elevations to PGKs and PRGKs must ensure that paraphernalia is procured from only one source, i.e. the Secretariat in SEKONDI. All Brothers who are honoured to be elevated to PSKs will also procure their items from SEKONDI. Any Brother who acquires his paraphernalia from any other source will not be considered for elevation.
- 90TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
The Noble Order will be Ninety years in November 2016.
The Standing Committee has drawn a comprehensive programme for this anniversary from October/November 2015 – November 2016. All Councils are urged to prepare themselves to participate in this programme. Youth co-ordinators are encouraged to organise the Junior Councils and Courts for their active involvement.
I have, as your 31st Supreme Knight and Chairman of the Planning Committee started making preparations towards this great occasion.
The anniversary will be launched in Accra on Saturday, 31st October this year and concluded in Sekondi in November next year. Details of the programme have been given to all Regional Grand Knights for an effective implementation and organisation. It is an occasion you should not miss. Grand Knights, l will continuously count on you for a successful celebration.
The 90th Anniversary celebrations have been decentralised to enable all Councils and Courts, Junior Councils and Courts to effectively participate.
I shall expect all Regional Councils to set up similar committees in their areas for easy dissemination of information. In line with our strategic plan, for the expansion and growth of the Noble Order, all Regional Grand Knights are expected without fail to consecrate at least one Council during their term of service.
Junior Order – There is a strong need for providing additional resources in support of Junior Order activities from the Adult Councils, Regional Councils and the Supreme Council. The integration of Junior Order Brothers who are 21 years and above into Adult Councils must be fully supported by all Councils. This exercise we must all supervise. All Adult Councils that do not have the Junior wing must do so before the end of the 90th Anniversary celebrations in November 2016.
Junior Brothers and Sisters will for the first time participate in the Reunion Conference activities to fraternise and socialise with their colleagues from other parts of the country in 2016. I am appealing to all Youth Co-ordinators and Organisers to be very active and vigilant to ensure a successful programme.
I also pledge my support to the initiatives and other social interventions formulated by my predecessors such as, MAREDES, the Business Complex Project, Marshallan Medical Fund, Marshallan Security Trust, Marshallan Welfare Scheme, Marshallan Investment Fund, Marshallan Endowment Fund etc.
I promise to abide by the laws, conventions, by-laws and the Constitution of the Noble Order.
I further promise an administrative re-engineering of the Supreme Council Secretariat to boost our image and status as an elite friendly and charitable society in the Catholic Church.
I appeal to all brothers for your prayers and support in the implementation of activities lined up for the 90th Anniversary Celebrations of the Noble Order, and during my tenure of service.
In conclusion, please permit me to extend a hand of love, peace and gratitude to all Brothers and Sisters of the Noble Order for doing me this honour. To the Installation Team, My Lord Bishops, and Very Rev. Fathers, I thank you for the time, sacrifice and prayers.
I hereby declare my acceptance as your 31st Supreme Knight of the Noble Order of the Knights of Marshall.
Long Live the Noble Order
God Bless You All.